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This sentence is from a Spiegel article. The context is discussions about the Olympics and banning the Russian team for doping. The sentence in question is the first sentence under the third paragraph (under the “Wann geht es weiter?” headline):

Für den 21. Juni hat IOC-Präsident Thomas Bach zum so genannten Olympic Summit nach Lausanne geladen.

I thought at first that geladen in this sentence meant invited, but given that to invite requires a direct object in this context and that there is none, I was wondering if there was another definition of geladen that I may be missing (most of the other definitions of geladen are charged or loaded, which doesn’t make sense in this context).

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    Just because "to invite" might require a direct object (which I do not think is true, by the way) does not mean that "laden" does so, too. Not even getting into the discussion that there are no direct objects in German. – Gerhard Jun 19 '16 at 14:36
  • I would disagree about "to invite" not requiring a direct object. But I did not know about german not having direct objects. Is this because they would be called "accusative objects"? – Jesse Pollack Jun 19 '16 at 14:43
  • I am pretty sure "to invite" can be used without a direct object expressing the action of "giving invitation" - Just like in German. With regards to usage of the term "direct object": Just search here for that term, there are answers around. – tofro Jun 19 '16 at 15:38
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    I'd just like to add that "einladen" doesn't require a direct object either and could be used in the sentence above. – user568 Jun 19 '16 at 17:02
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There are two verbs laden with different etymologies. The one you are looking for is the second; in the dictionary panel click on the small laden² to open its entry.

In short, laden in this case is a higher-register variant of einladen. It does not require an accusative object but can go without one. If there is no object, it is usually assumed that everybody or everybody whose appearance makes sense is the recipient of the invitation.

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    Der letzte Satz ist doch eine wüste Spekulation. Es wird (in dem Satz) einfach nicht gesagt wer geladen ist - was das bedeutet mag aus dem Kontext folgern. Vielleicht ist es auch unbekannt oder unerheblich. – user unknown Jun 20 '16 at 2:30
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While laden can actually be a more literate form of einladen (it has also the different meaning, where it is not just an invitation but a formal request to appear, with non-compliance having severe consequences; typically issued by police or a court) none of the two strictly requires an object, as in

Die Gemeinde hat zum Sommerfest (ein-) geladen

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